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The main designing features of languages in general

Languages in general have the following main designing features:

Languages have means for communication.
For example, all sound languages use voice as the medium for communication and sign languages use gestures.
Languages have semantic functions.
This means that all languages express meaning.
Languages have pragmatic functions.
It means that languages are designed to serve some useful purpose, such as persuasion, threatening, giving promise, etc.
Languages are interchangeable.
This refers to the fact that the normal users of a language can both produce and understand utterances.
Languages are arbitrary.
That is, there is no intrinsic association between the meaning and the form of a language unit.
Languages are discrete.
This means that complex languages units can be broken into simpler and smaller units.
Languages have the feature of displacement.
It means that languages can describe what is not present spatially and/or temporally. Consider the meaning expressed by "I met Alice two years ago who is not here right now."
Languages are productive.
This means that language users can understand and produce utterances they have never heard before. For example, I bet you have never heard "My blue happy Honda Accord fell in love with her red Civic." but I believe that you understand what it means.

Now that we know the major designing features of languages in general, we'll now move to the various aspects of language mentioned in what is linguistics about. First, let's talk about Phonetics.


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